September 23, 2015

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon at the Catholic University of America, hundreds of bishops and priests joined tens of thousands of faithful in celebrating with Pope Francis the Canonization Mass for Blessed Junipero Serra. The CUA orchestra and several choirs added to the joy of the occasion with their instrumental music and songs and hymns sung in Spanish, English and Latin. Abbot James, Abbot Aidan in his wheelchair, Fr. Joseph, Fr. Christopher, Br. Ignacio and Br. Samuel were able to participate in the event. Fr. Joseph and Fr. Christopher concelebrated with the many priests present. Abbot Aidan and Abbot James were in the upper church of the Shrine with Br. Samuel and many seminarians watching the ceremonies on a large screen. Br. Samuel had the opportunity to be closer to the Pope than the others, being the second person from the aisle when the Pope came by on the way to the outside altar.

For those outside who had to be in their place hours before the Pope’s arrival, it was a challenge not to get sunburn. As the picture shows, various kinds of head covering were brought out for protection. Those who participated agreed it was worth it to endure the long day and the delays in getting home afterwards in order to be present at such an inspiring celebration with the Holy Father.

Br. Ignacio sang in the choir; in the second photo below, you can see his head in the very center of the third row from the top.